Thursday, May 13, 2010

David Andrew Griffith

D. A. GRIFFITH - The retired farmers living in Winterset are highly esteemed and contribute not a little to the advancement of the community. Among them is D. A. Griffith, who was born in Holmes county, Ohio, on the 15th of April, 1841, a son of Isaac and Margaret (Archibald) Griffith, the former born upon the ocean in 1808 while his parents were crossing to this country from Wales and the latter born in Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1816. Isaac Griffith was a miller and shoemaker and followed those trades in Holmes county, Ohio. In 1843 he removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he ran a mill until he removed to Scioto county, that state, which was his home for ten years before his death. He died in 1848 and was survived by his wife for three years.

D. A. Griffith at the usual age entered the city schools of Portsmouth, Ohio, and there laid the foundation of his education. When he was eleven years of age, however, his parents died and he was taken by a family who mistreated him and he accordingly ran away. He became a farm hand and thus provided for his support and was so engaged until the outbreak of the Civil war. On the I5th of April, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, Thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry under Captain Dan Parnell. The command rendezvoused at Columbus, Ohio, and Mr. Griffith was made first duty sergeant. After being three months with Company C he was transferred to Company D, of the Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served as sergeant in that command for a year, after which he was made first lieutenant. He was under fire in Virginia, at the battle of Charleston, Maryland, at Bull Run, Antietam, South Mountain, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and the siege of Chattanooga and accompanied Sherman on the memorable march to the sea. He was wounded by a bayonet thrust at South Mountain, Maryland, and lost his hearing at the battle of Antietam, as his regiment was for hours in the midst of eight hundred pieces of artillery. His regiment, which in that engagement lost five hundred men, together with the Eighteenth Pennsylvania, charged the Burnside bridge and took it. Colonel Coleman, who led the charge, fell pierced by seven bullets. Lieutenant Griffith succeeded in capturing some rebel cannon and his record throughout the war proved him a fearless and an able officer. He has a medal presented him by the state of Ohio for continuous and meritorious service. He was mustered out on the 3d of July, 1865, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and later in that year removed to Fairfield, Iowa.

In 1870 he came to Madison county and began farming in Jefferson township, where he lived for five years. At the end of that time he removed to Union township and engaged in agricultural pursuits there until 1893. In that year he purchased two hundred acres of land in Douglas township on North river and gave his time and attention to the operation of that farm. He was very successful in all that he attempted, his energy, determination and knowledge of the best methods of agriculture making him one of the leading farmers in his township.

On the 4th of March, 1866, Mr. Griffith was united in marriage to Miss Hester E. Miller, who was born in Brown county, Ohio, December 27, 1847, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Hillis) [sic] Miller. Her father was born in Germany in 1822 and upon emigrating to this country settled in Cincinnati, where he followed the blacksmith's trade until his health failed. He then removed to Brown county, Ohio, which remained his home until 1865. In that year he migrated westward and settled in Jefferson county, Iowa, near Fairfield. Nine years later he homesteaded land in Buena Vista county, where his death occurred in 1875. His wife, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1820, passed away in Buena Vista county in 1904, having survived him for almost three decades.

Mr. and Mrs. Griffith are the parents of seven children: Anna B. gave her hand in marriage to Elias Van Scoy, of Logan county, Colorado, by whom she has four children. U. Grant, who was born May 7, 1868, died January 20, 1907. Isaac, born on the 5th of September, 1869, is a well-to-do farmer who is married and has three children, David A., Winifred and Hester. Jerome is represented elsewhere in this work. David T., whose birth occurred on the11th of July, 1879, is engaged in the implement business at Van Meter, Iowa. Linnie E., born November11, 1880, passed away February 4, 1890. Robert S. was born on the 16th of October, 1888.

Mr. Griffith is identified with the republican party and has always been as true to the best interests of his country in times of peace as he was when he led his command upon the battlefields of the south. None begrudges him the competence and the leisure which are now his, as they were won by industry and sound judgment.

SOURCE: History of Madison County Iowa and Its People, Volume 2, p. 285-7

NOTE: According to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, David A. Griffith of Companies D & H, mustered in as a private and out as a sergeant. David A. Griffith is listed on page 148 of J. H. Horton & Solomon Teverbaugh’s A History of the Eleventh Regiment (Ohio Volunteer Infantry) as “an original member; promoted to Sergeant; veteranized, and was left at Chattanooga.”

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